Won’t cast vote against happiness of othersPublished 11:27am Friday, October 19, 2012
By John Torgrimson,
Pacelli High School graduate, Lanesboro
I wonder how we would vote, if given the chance today, to end slavery, or to give women the right to vote, or whether to integrate the Little Rock High School. Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson and Dwight Eisenhower showed the leadership necessary to move the nation forward on these basic human rights issues that we take for granted today. No referendum was held, and yet the basic rights of freedom, universal suffrage and the right to an education were at stake.
On the ballot on Nov. 6, we are being asked to vote to define a marriage as between a man and a woman and, bizarrely enough, enshrine it in our state constitution — to essentially deny people who are not heterosexual the right to join together to pursue happiness.
I am reminded of my parents who lived in Austin; my mother, an Irish Catholic, and my father, a Norwegian Lutheran, who were married in the late 1930s. Marriages of mixed religions while legal at the time were scandalous nonetheless. I am proud that my parents’ love gave them the courage to defy the mores of the day, to find a life together and raise a family.
I am not sure how we lift up our state and our nation by denying happiness to others. It shames me that I will have to vote on this issue on Nov. 6. In memory of my parents I will certainly vote no.